Manor dump rio, sign Ocon for rest of season

As we all suspected based upon news in the press, Rio Haryanto has lost his main seat at Manor F1 team but has been offered a role as the reserve driver behind his replacement, Esteban Ocon—another Mercedes junior driver program just like Manor’s other driver, Pascal Wehrlein.

AUTOSPORT says that the Haryanto team couldn’t convince the Indonesian government to pony up more cash and keep his career going. Regardless, it must be said that Rio did a handy job of it given the lack of Formula 1 drivers from that particular area of the world. If you consider Wehrlein as one of the best and brightest of the Mercedes stable, then rio stood his ground and fared very well against seriously tough competition and that must be attributed to this young man from Indonesia. Manor F1 racing director Dave Ryan said:

“Rio has been a much-valued member of our team since January, when we signed a contract with him for this season,”.

“Some time ago, his management indicated that they were experiencing difficulties honouring the obligations of that contract beyond the Hungarian Grand Prix.

“Rio’s team have worked tirelessly to try to resolve that situation with his Indonesian backers and we have supported those efforts as much as possible, including allowing Rio to race in Germany.

“Unfortunately we reached a point where, in the best interests of the team, we were forced to explore other options for the remainder of the season.

“We are very pleased to continue our support for Rio’s Formula 1 ambitions, by offering him a reserve driver role for the rest of the current season.

“We very much hope that he will accept that offer.”

Ocon will make his F1 debut at the Belgium Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps and has been cutting his teeth as the reserve driver for Renault Sport F1 and competing in the German DTM series for Mercedes.